Spring Practice Begins

The 2003 Miami Hurricanes football team began spring practice began Tuesday afternoon at Greentree Practice Field on the University of Miami campus.

"It's always great to get back on the football field and I was pleased with the way we came out today and worked hard," said head coach Larry Coker, who began his third season as UM coach with Tuesday's workout. "We've got a lot of questions to answer this spring. There are plenty of jobs up for grabs right now and it's going to be fun watching the competition."

The Hurricanes worked out in shorts and shells in sunny 90-degree weather as 47 returning lettermen participated in the first of 15 practices that will conclude on Thursday, April 10.

The quarterback battle commenced Tuesday as four players - junior Derrick Crudup, junior Brock Berlin, second-year man Marc Guillon and true freshman Kyle Wright - saw extensive action with the different units. At tailback, sophomore Frank Gore and senior-to-be Jarrett Payton returned to action. In the defensive front, fourth-year man Santonio Thomas, junior Vince Wilfork and sophomore Orien Harris shared time at the tackle spots while junior John Square, sophomore Thomas Carroll, second-year man Baraka Atkins and newcomer Alton Wright are battling for starting jobs.

"Those players will greatly benefit from the reps they get this spring," Coker said. "We've got plenty of talent there but we need to see someone step up and establish themselves, especially at the end positions."

The following players suited up but are being held out of contact this spring: senior strong safety Maurice Sikes, senior long snapper Chris Harvey, senior receiver Kevin Beard, second-year receiver Sinorice Moss, junior fullback Kyle Cobia, junior linebacker Carl Walker and senior offensive lineman Jim Sikora.

The Hurricanes continue spring practice with another workout on Wednesday slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. at Greentree. All spring practices are closed to the public with the exception of the Friday, March 28, workout at Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale and the Spring Game slated for Saturday, April 5, at the Orange Bowl.

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